Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs (A Sensational 4th Of July Recipe)



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 racks of St. Louis style ribs (about 3-4 pounds)

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice preference)

  • 1 cup apple juice or apple cider vinegar (for spritzing)


  • Prepare the Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs using a sharp knife. This will help the flavors penetrate better during smoking.
  • Create the Dry Rub: In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, black pepper, kosher salt, and cayenne pepper until well combined. This delicious rub will be the secret to your flavor-packed ribs
  • Apply the Dry Rub: Generously rub the dry spice mixture all over the ribs, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  • Prepare the Smoker: Preheat your smoker to 225°F (107°C). Use applewood or hickory chips for that authentic smoky flavor.
  • Smoke the Ribs: Place the seasoned ribs on the smoker grates bone-side down. Close the lid and let the magic unfold. Smoke the ribs for approximately 5 hours, occasionally spritzing them with apple juice or apple cider vinegar to keep them moist and add extra flavor.
  • Check for Doneness: After 5 hours, check the ribs for tenderness. You’ll know they’re ready when the meat easily pulls away from the bones.
  • Rest and Serve: Remove the ribs from the smoker and let them rest for a few minutes. This will help the juices redistribute, ensuring a moist and delightful eating experience. Slice the ribs between the bones and serve them up hot with your favorite BBQ sauce on the side.

Hey, hey, lovely foodies. Get ready to put on your aprons and buckle up for the most sensational 4th of July treat – Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs! 

The sun’s shining bright, the grill’s sizzling with anticipation, and that sweet aroma of smoky goodness is wafting through the air. (Oh, yes)

I’m talking about those super cool St. Louis style ribs, and they’re about to become your go-to recipe for all your 4th of July gatherings.

Now, I’m not just talking about any old ribs. (Nope)

I’m talking about those ribs with a special charm – perfectly trimmed shape and tender meat that’ll have you swooning. 

These ribs are like summer on a plate, and you’ll be the star of any summer party with this dish.

As the 4th of July approaches, there’s no better way to celebrate than with a finger-lickin’ BBQ feast. 

And let me tell you, my friend, this delicious BBQ ribs recipe will steal the show and make you the star of any summer party. 

So, come along with me on this lip-smacking journey as I uncover all the juicy secrets of preparing and indulging in these heavenly ribs.

(You’ll be turning up the heat, adding a dash of flavor, and creating memories that’ll last a lifetime)

Are you ready to prepare for the whole family this ultimate crowd-pleaser?

(Of course, you are)

So, get your grill on and make this summer a sizzling sensation with smoked St. Louis style ribs. Let’s go! 

What is Different About St. Louis Style Ribs?

Raw St. Louis Style Ribs on top of a wooden chopping board

(Oh, you’re in for a treat with St. Louis style ribs)

These bad boys are not your average ribs, and that’s what makes them so special.

Let me break it down for you to see what sets them apart from the rest of the rib pack.

  • Trimmed Shape: St. Louis style ribs are cut from the spare ribs, with the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips removed.

    This results in a cleaner, more uniform shape. (perfect for grilling)
  • Balanced Meat Distribution: Whether you purchase your ribs through organic meat delivery or from your local butcher shop.

    These St. Louis style ribs always boast a mouthwatering balance of meat, fat, and connective tissue, creating a flavor explosion in every bite.
  • Marbled Meat: The meat in St. Louis style ribs is beautifully marbled, making it incredibly tender and juicy when cooked to perfection.
  • Flatter and Rectangular: Unlike other rib cuts, such as spare ribs and the mighty baby back ribs.

    St. Louis style ribs are flatter and more rectangular in shape, giving them a unique appearance.
  • Bold Flavor Profile: With their trimmed shape and perfect meat distribution.

    These ribs deliver a bold and consistent flavor that will leave your taste buds dancing.
  • Grilling Superstars: St. Louis style ribs are like the rockstars of the rib world, ready to steal the show at your next summer dinner gathering or BBQ party.

To sum it up, St. Louis style ribs are all about that trimmed shape and perfect meat distribution.

They’re like the rockstars of the rib world, ready to steal the show at your next 4th of July shindig. 

The Perfect Side Dishes to Complement Your Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs

Now that you’ve got your mouth watering over those smoked St. Louis style ribs.

Let’s talk about the dream team of side dishes that will take your BBQ game to a whole new level.

Sweet and Smoky Baked Beans with Bacon

There’s something magical about the sweet and smoky dance of flavors when you pair these baked beans with bacon alongside your succulent ribs.

The rich and hearty beans, caramelized in a tangy BBQ sauce, perfectly balance the robust flavors of the ribs.

Oh, and did I mention the crispy bacon crumbles on top? (Yum)

They add that extra touch of indulgence that’ll have you reaching for seconds and thirds without a doubt.

Juicy Grilled Corn with Herb Butter

Ah, grilled corn on the cob, the beloved summer delight.

Juicy kernels, kissed by the grill’s smoky embrace and slathered with herb-infused butter.

The fresh sweetness of the corn plays harmoniously with the herbaceous butter, creating a burst of summer in your taste buds.

This juicy grilled corn with herb butter is the ideal side to lighten up the richness of the ribs.

Vibrant Sweet Potato and Kale Hash

Ahoy, health-conscious foodies. Prepare to meet your match made in heaven – the sweet potato and kale hash.

This vibrant and nutritious side dish not only adds a pop of color to your plate but also complements the ribs with its earthy and slightly sweet flavors.

The tender sweet potatoes and hearty kale will add a fresh twist to your BBQ feast, giving you the perfect balance between indulgence and wholesome goodness.

There you have it, my friends – the trio of sides that’ll elevate your smoked St. Louis style ribs to a full-fledged 4th of July fiesta.

With the baked beans with bacon, grilled corn with herb butter, and sweet potato and kale hash by your side.

Your BBQ spread will leave everyone asking for your secret recipe. 

Alright, my fellow BBQ enthusiasts, it’s time to put down those handy meal prep essentials.

And take a moment to savor the fantastic journey you’ve had with the smoked St. Louis style ribs.

From the very first bite, you knew we were in for a flavor-packed adventure.

Those perfectly trimmed ribs, with their tender meat and mesmerizing smoky aroma, stole your hearts and satisfied your carnivorous cravings.

And do not forget the mouthwatering BBQ side dishes – the baked beans with bacon, grilled corn with herb butter, and sweet potato and kale hash.

(Each one perfectly complements the star dish)

As you gathered around the grill, the sun shining bright, and laughter filling the air, celebrate the 4th of July with a feast fit for kings and queens.

It was a summer symphony of flavors, a true celebration of taste, and a delightful time spent with friends and family.

Now, you’ve got the secrets of smoking ribs like a pro and the perfect sides to make your BBQ spread legendary.

So why stop here? Keep the grill fired up and create memories with every sizzle, because the joy of food and fellowship is a gift you can cherish all summer long.

So go ahead, prepare this for your loved ones while unleashing your creativity, and make every BBQ a sizzling success.

With the smoked St. Louis style ribs as the centerpiece and the delightful sides to accompany them.

You’ll have a 4th of July celebration that’ll be talked about for years to come.

Thank you for joining me on this lip-smacking journey, my BBQ buddies. Until our next flavorful adventure, keep the fire burning and the taste buds dancing.

Happy grilling and cheers to a summer filled with deliciousness!

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How to Ensure Consistent Smoke and Heat Distribution?

Achieving consistent smoke and heat distribution is the key to mouthwatering St. Louis style ribs.

To do this, follow these pro tips:

  • Preheat and Manage Your Smoker: Ensure your smoker is preheated to the desired temperature before placing the ribs inside.

    Throughout the smoking process, maintain a steady temperature to prevent any temperature fluctuations.
  • Positioning the Ribs: Place the ribs evenly on the smoker’s grates, allowing sufficient space between each rack.

    This ensures all sides receive the same amount of smoky goodness.
  • Use an Internal Thermometer: Invest in an internal meat thermometer to monitor the ribs’ internal temperature.

    This will help you avoid overcooking or undercooking, leading to perfectly tender ribs.

How to Fix Dry or Tough Smoked St. Louis Style Ribs?

(Oops) If you find yourself with dry or tough ribs, don’t fret. I’ve got your back with these rescue tactics:

  • Wrap in Foil: If the ribs are already on the smoker and drying out, wrap them in foil to retain moisture.

    Add a splash of apple juice or broth before sealing for extra tenderness.
  • Sauce It Up: Slather your ribs with a generous amount of BBQ sauce during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

    The sauce will add moisture and create a finger-lickin’ glaze.
  • The “Fall Off the Bone” Trick: Return your dry ribs to the smoker or oven and cook them at a low temperature for an additional hour.

    This slow and low method will help break down the connective tissues and render the meat tender.

How to Adapt the Recipe for Different Preferences and Dietary Restrictions?

Want to make everyone happy at the BBQ? (No problem) Here’s how to tailor the smoked St. Louie style ribs recipe:

  • Vegetarian Twist: For the herbivores in the group, try smoked vegetable skewers with marinated tofu or portobello mushrooms.

    They’ll love the smoky flavors without missing the meat.
  • Gluten-Free Delight: Use a gluten-free BBQ sauce and ensure your dry rub ingredients are free of any gluten-containing additives.
  • Keto-Friendly Options: Opt for sugar-free BBQ sauce or create your own using a natural sweetener like erythritol or stevia.

  • Less Spicy: Adjust the cayenne pepper in the dry rub or choose a mild BBQ sauce to cater to those who prefer a tamer taste.

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